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Date: 27/07/14

"Eyeless On Gaza, On The Shill As Slaves"

Given what we know:

Then is it any wonder that the BBC (whose last-Director-General-but-one-and-a-half was married to a strident Zionist, and who - as an example of either cause or effect - used to trot off to Tel-Aviv two or three times a year for 'discussions' with whoever was Prime Minister there that month) seems to believe that it can get away with its slant and bias right down to the local level?

Yesterday, as in many another town or city, there was a march and rally in Cardiff in solidarity with the people of Gaza. This was the sole report on it on the BBC News website's Welsh sub-section:

Screenshot from the BBC News website with headline 'Violence breaks out during Gaza protest march in Cardiff'

Well, that will certainly confirm what many already think; that those who are pro-Palestinian are not only supporters of nasty, nasty people like Hamas and are all therefore anti-Semitic beyond redemption, but are not averse to a bit of violence themselves. Bloody typical!

Except that, reading four paragraphs down the piece (a brief enough one as it was), we see this:

Screenshot from the BBC News website with states that the violence had no link to the march

(These screen captures come from the article as it stood at Sunday lunchtime. It might be worth keeping an eye on it, given the BBC's tendency to re-write articles without acknowledging the fact) (*)

So, violence 'during Gaza protest' turns, within just a couple of dozen words, to 'violence not connected with Gaza protest'?

Well, that's balanced, isn't it? After all, it 'corrects' the initial potentially misleading impression which might have been given in the headline and standfirst, doesn't it? And it isn't as if it was an actual, y'know, lie. After all, the violence had taken place 'during' the march, hadn't it, even if it had no real connection to it other than a degree of co-location?

But the intended damage had been done. It is a fact well enough established so as to be taught to trainee journalists, PR bods and other purveyors of the misleading that about three-quarters of readers - be they of print newspapers or their electronic equivalents - do not read beyond an article's headline. I suspect that a similarly high proportion of those who do break on past the big letters at the top stop after the first paragraph. And so, tyro hacks and flacks are instructed to get their message across right at the start.

And the message given here by the BBC is clear enough that it needs no further elucidation from me. I will confine myself to remarking that, so ingrained has the practice become in BBC culture, that it has become a regular feature of its reporting on other stories where the vested interests of the power Úlite in London which owns and controls the Castration are deemed to be so under threat as to justify deliberately misleading headlines either to give the opposite impression of what is actually the case or to give 'an appearance of solidity' to the pure wind which emanates from the orifices of those self-same interests. This is currently being seen in excelsis day-after-day-o in the official media's coverage of the impending independence referendum in Scotland. Indeed, Stuart Campbell's Wings Over Scotland site has an entire - and ever-expanding - section devoted to the tricks deployed by the externally-owned-and-controlled broadcast and print media in Scotland to seduce, scare or simply bludgeon the reader/viewer/listenership into voting 'No' in September.

I suppose the lesson once again is caveat lector, but most people have neither the inclination nor the time to be particularly discerning or sufficiently curious to look beyond the headlines. And that, in turn, explains why we are where we are, and why so many people insist on believing things for which there is either no evidence or where the evidence clearly points in the opposite direction. The whole of our political discourse is now determined by this simple and disobliging fact.

* Well, that was quick! Scarcely had I posted this than the BBC changed the story entirely, and the original report is now longer visible.

Coda: Many thanks to the ever-estimable Philip Challinor for a link to this piece by the cartoonist Martin Rowson, which says an awful lot that I agree with.